Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani

25th February

Maria Teresa Pisani Mompalao Cuzkeri was the only daughter of the Baron of Frieniuni, one of the oldest barony in Malta. Her mother was Italian. She was born in Naples in 1806. She died on the 25th February 1855 when she was 48 years old. Today she is known as Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani having been beatified by Pope John Paul II in Malta 0n the 9th May 2001.

During her lifetime, she experienced a very turbulent family life. Her parents had great marital problems, due to her father’s alcoholism. Her mother left the family home entrusting her daughter to her paternal grandmother. M. Teresa was 10 years old when her grandmother died and she was sent to a boarding school in Naples.

Then, her father was sentenced to death because he was involved politically in revolts in Naples. He was deported to Malta instead, because he was a British citizen. Eventually, Maria Teresa together with her mother, went to live in Malta but they never lived with her father who had resumed his erratic lifestyle. However, Maria Teresa never shunned her father and she would stop and ask for his blessing whenever she met him in the street.

She continued to refuse all her mother’s attempts to get her married. After continued opposition from her family, she followed her call and joined the Benedictine nuns in St. Peter’s Monastery in Mdina, choosing a humble life of chastity, prayer, work, silence and obedience. Her name was changed to Maria Adeodata, she renounced her titles and she distributed her immense inheritance, keeping only what was necessary for herself and to help others. In the monastery the work she loved most was that of being a porter, a responsibility that brought her in contact with the poor people who came to ask for help, and taking care of the chapel because it gave her more time near the Blessed Sacrament. 

Towards the end of her life she was also an Abbess for two years, when she had to deal with conflicts even from members of the community who misunderstood her sanctity and her mission. She was buried in the Monastery crypt, which is visited by many asking for her intercession.

In spite of the heartaches she must have experienced, Blessed Adeodata Pisani remained steadfast in her own way of life, in her beliefs, in the practice of virtues and to her call.

As parents and guardians, while wanting to protect our children from heartaches, disappointments, drastic life changes and from being overwhelmed by media messages of deaths, illnesses, divorce, crime, war we might tend to forget that an important element of parenthood is not only to educate them in behaviour but also to shape their heart.

Grasp opportunities to build them up in not being disheartened, to adopt an attitude of positive orientation. Our interventions will need to vary according to the children’s ages and the level of their emotional intelligence.

These experiences may vary from:

  • loss of a pet
  • a friendship that turned sour
  • changes in their family life
  • sad news within their immediate family circle and beyond

You might consider using the game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ to carry home the reality that life also has its ‘ups and downs’ because living involves change.
Explore with them feelings of ‘ups and downs’. Include your own feelings in simple terms, to empathise with them, so that they get the message that their feelings are not overlooked.

Blessed Adeodata Pisani could have become a rich Baroness, but instead she chose a life that spoke loudly of humility. Our children are growing up in a society of people with ‘over-inflated ego,’ that promotes hollow over-confidence. We might tend to have a misconception about the real meaning of humility. C .S. Lewis defined humility as “… not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.” So being humble does not mean to think poorly of yourself and it does not include traits of weakness. On the contrary it involves inner strength.

Humility is not humiliation. Humiliating children, especially making fun of them in front of others does not nurture humility, but only leads to destroying the child’s self-esteem. Nurturing the virtue of humility in our children involves:

  • encouraging them positively to recognize and admit when they are wrong:
  • accepting responsibility for their behaviour;
  • being accountable by saying “I am sorry”;
  • offering voluntarily to serve others;
  • gently steer them from seeking continuously to be the centre of attention;
  • to listen to the opinions of others:
  • not to insist to have the last say.

Take opportunities to give them credit, when you ‘catch them doing good’ so that they get the message that they are worthy persons. This will strengthen their ‘inner core’ empowering them to ‘stand tall’ for what they are and not having to resort to projecting themselves to create images of self-importance.

For Family Prayer Time join the children

  • to express prayers of intercession for people who are having a difficult time in their life,   
  • ask for forgiveness from God and from members of the family they would have wrongedEncourage children to talk to Jesus about any heartaches they might have experienced, strengthening their belief that Jesus heals our hearts.

Consider making a prayerful experience of the Gospel narrative of Jesus washing the Apostles’ feet at the Last Supper (Children’s Bible or look for a visual representation on Youtube).

From a very young age, Maria Tereza had a tough life. When she arrived in Malta, she lived in Rabat Malta. When she was a nun, she lived a life full of prayers and helped the poor.


Learn more and watch this video about Adeodata Pisani from this short biography and learn where she lived and many interesting things.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.